Within the semiconductor industry, the recognized standard ASTM letter-designated thermocouples, platinum resistance thermometers (PRT) and optical methods dominate tool temperature measurement. These measurement processes rely on nominal material properties in the transducers to measure temperature.
It’s possible to gain notable improvements in thermocouple and PRT temperature sensors by removing some of the reliance on nominal material properties. Better measurement and performance is achieved by substituting digital electronics for material constraints.
The availability of high quality and low cost microprocessors, converters and memory along with the IEEE 1451.4 smart transducer standard are making these significant improvements possible.
Smart sensing technology is combining sensor information with the temperature sensor. The IEEE 1451.4 Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface organizes the hardware and software for implementing a system across a variety of sensors and platforms. The key piece of this specification is a Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) that allows the sensor to specify the type and location of sensor information for use in electronic instrumentation.
The TEDS allows for custom calibration that improves calibration uncertainty and accommodates new materials for sensing while the IEEE1451.4 standard has codified one version of smart sensing for industry wide acceptance.
Please download this technical paper to learn more on how smart sensing is changing semiconductor tool measurement. Bill Schuh, a scientist from Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company is the author of this paper.
Watlow is the global leader in providing innovative thermal solutions for semiconductor applications ranging from crystal growth through front-end wafer process to back-end assembly.